Why You Suddenly Need To Stop Using Google Chrome

It's time to ditch Chrome—here's why.

If you’re among the billions of people using Chrome, then Google’s stark new data harvesting disclosures should come as a nasty surprise. Worse, a new Chrome revelation, one that hasn’t yet made headlines but which is detailed below, should serve as an even more serious warning. Here’s what you need to do now.

Google is under fire this week, after the surprising amount of your data harvested by Chrome has been disclosed. This is a genuine threat to your privacy. Worse, a more serious issue for Google, detailed below, hasn’t even made headlines yet. Chrome is totally out of step with Safari, Edge and Firefox, shattering Google’s “privacy first web” claims. All of which should give you a serious reason to quit Chrome today.

Last year, when Apple said that it would force app developers to disclose the scale of data collected and linked to its users, all eyes turned to Google and Facebook. Many suspected that this level of scrutiny would shine an alarming light on the world’s two most valuable data machines. And that’s exactly what has happened.

The issue for Google is that, unlike Facebook, it sits both sides of the fence. Guarding your privacy on one side—with Android and and its mail, docs and drive ecosystem, and an advertising behemoth on the other, collecting $100 billion plus in ad spend, the majority of its annual revenue. In that regard, it’s really no different to Facebook.

And so, there’s little surprise that Apple’s mandatory privacy labels have shown these two ad giants to be well out of step with their peers when it comes to collecting your data. If your business model is monetizing your users’ information, then you’ll want to collect as much as you reasonably can—and Google and Facebook don’t disappoint.

“Google doesn’t care about protecting user privacy,” privacy-centric DuckDuckGo warned this week, when Chrome’s privacy label was finally revealed, “they care about protecting their surveillance business model. If they really cared about privacy, they would just stop spying on billions of people around the world.”

DuckDuckGo focused on the data that Google collects, linked to its users. But there’s a different dataset in the detail, included below, that’s much more damaging to Google and which shows Chrome to be shockingly different to its major rivals.

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I have already warned that Gmail collects more data than other leading mail platforms. In its defense, Google pointed me at comments made by CEO Sundar Pichai, that “we don’t use information in apps where you primarily store personal content—such as Gmail, Drive, Calendar and Photos—for advertising purposes, period.”

You’ll note that Chrome isn’t on that list, nor is it an app “where you primarily store personal content.” But it is an app where you enter private and sensitive search terms and conduct private transactions. But what Chrome does have in common with Gmail is an avaricious and out of step approach to data harvesting.

Google took its time adding privacy labels, with a gap between app updates of some three months after the labels became mandatory. But now we can see the detail for Chrome, just as we did for Gmail. As I commented on Gmail, protecting user privacy is a binary philosophy, “you either believe it’s the right thing to do, or you don’t.” And these new labels have made Google’s (and Facebook’s) privacy claims sound hollow.

Just as with Gmail, Chrome collects your user ID and device ID in too many categories. Unlike Safari, Edge and Firefox, Chrome says it links all harvested data to devices and individuals. Safari collects but doesn’t link browsing history, usage data and locations to users. Neither Firefox nor Edge link usage data. But Chrome says it collects all those data fields and links all of them to user identities.

This isn’t complicated. The fact is that Chrome collects more data than any of the other browsers, yet is the only one that doesn’t appear to collect any data that isn’t linked to user identities. This is a much more shocking illustration of the different philosophies at play. Chrome hasn’t even attempted to protect its users’ privacy in this way. This isn’t about specific data fields, this is about an overarching attitude to privacy.

“You don’t become a multi-billion-dollar company without grabbing as much data as you can then monetize,” says Cyjax CISO Ian Thornton-Trump. “It’s like there’s some sort of crossroads well maybe a three-way intersection. Collect all the data you can, collect all the data you need or collect the bare minimum of data. The companies in the bare minimum category are few and far between.”

“Why does a web browser need my financial data?” asks security researcher Sean Wright. “I think that says it all really. I really struggle to think of a suitable justification for that.” Google will argue that you can elect to provide your financial data when you choose to transact. But it’s yet more data collected under the guise of convenience.

Google didn’t offer any comments in response to this story, but did insist that the justification for its data collection is to provide features and functions—for example tailoring searches to a user’s location. Again, this misses the stark difference between an in-session function and collecting linked user data, as suggested by its privacy label.

Google’s viewpoint, that it only collects the data needed to provide its service, is the same rationale WhatsApp gave me for collecting its own treasure trove of data. The issue with that reasoning, though, is that competing apps that collect significantly less data offer similar features and levels of performance and security.

Clearly, not every user will provide every data field on the privacy label to Google—they’re intended as a worst case, this is the data that could be collected. This is why comparisons are so critical—no privacy label should be taken in isolation. It’s also wrong to only compare mainstream apps with privacy-first specialists. Chrome versus DuckDuckGo, or WhatsApp versus Signal, for example.

Comparing Google, Apple and Microsoft makes more sense. Looking across both emails apps and browsers for the three tech giants does not paint a pretty picture for Google—bear this in mind before you install its apps on your phone.

On the surface, Google does appear to be making privacy-related changes. Google told me it will “no longer use the Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA)… on iOS for personalized advertisements and ad-related measurement in the near future.” Google has also committed to ending cross-site tracking cookies. But the devil’s in the detail, as seen in the news this week that Google killing these cookies might be anticompetitive.

Google makes its money selling ads tailored to you as an individual, contextualized by your search or activity. Most of those ads are geared around search queries. And so, Google’s plan to replace cookies with so-called Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC), a clever way to say the “anonymization” of individual users into groups of individuals with common characteristics, is the kind of cleverness you’d expect from an ad giant.

The shift to FLoC has been criticized as putting too much control and, ultimately, monetization in Google’s hands. And, because this approach is handled by the browser you use, that control is enabled by Chrome’s dominance of the browser market, with a greater than 60% market share. “Users and advocates must reject FLoC,” says EFF, “and other misguided attempts to reinvent behavioral targeting. We implore Google to abandon FLoC and redirect its effort towards building a truly user-friendly Web.”

You might decide that you don’t like your browser analyzing searches and collecting your data to target you with ads. You might assume that a browser alleged to have tracked users even when those users enabled its “incognito” mode isn’t a privacy-first kind of platform. You might also ask if Safari and Edge deliver a degraded service absent that data harvesting. Remember, you can use Google without Chrome.

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This new Chrome warning is especially relevant for iPhone and iPad users, given they can now change their device’s default browser away from Safari. You certainly don’t want switch this to Chrome—ever. Why would you open yourself up to additional data harvesting when it does not add to your online experience?

Whether it’s mail or browsers, the pattern is clear. And before people email me to tell me they see some of the missing data types in other browsers or email apps, remember the difference between data fields being used and actually being linked to your identity. There’s a world of difference between the two.

Andy Yen, the founder and CEO of ProtonMail, was heavily critical of Google’s data collection from Gmail. He sees the same pattern here, telling me that “a picture paints a thousand words. The only legitimate reason for a product to collect data is to make sure it has the information it needs to function. This necessity will vary from product to product, but as the chart shows, a browser clearly doesn’t need to collect any information on its users to do its job. The biggest players have profiteered off users’ trust for too long and it’s time for alternatives.”

The best browser for privacy is DuckDuckGo, albeit it’s likely too much of a departure for most users. But in whichever browser you use, turn off cross-site tracking where you can and consider using private browsing modes, albeit you’ll miss the convenience in accessing previous sites and being remembered when you do.

DuckDuckGo says it is now seeing a surge in downloads. “Looking at app store rankings,” a spokesperson told me, “our mobile browser has been the second most downloaded mobile browser in the U.S. after Chrome.” It also says, unsurprisingly, that it supports Apple’s mandatory privacy labels, which have highlighted its benefits, “and we hope other app marketplaces will follow suit.”

This is the crux, though. Apple does not monetize data in the same way as Google, its business model is to sell devices and services within its ecosystem, and privacy does genuinely appear to be in its DNA. The same cannot be said for Google. Google is not going to crack down on data collection in the same way. What it will do, though, is to adopt some of Apple’s initiatives, ensuring that it doesn’t fall too far behind.

The last decade has seen a steady erosion of your privacy. Free to use apps and platforms have monetized you and your data. You have traded away your privacy for that convenience. But when two of the world’s largest tech companies, Google and Facebook, generate most of their revenues from advertising, and when that advertising is driven by your data and interactions with their services, the balance is very wrong.

“Facebook said that ‘privacy is a thing of the past’,” recalls security expert Mike Thompson, referring to Mark Zuckerberg’s comments a decade ago, before he began to advocate more private interactions. “So why would Google not take the same stance? If Google took my privacy seriously, I wouldn’t see repetitive ads all over my social media,” Thompson says, referring to ads that link back to activity on his phone.

But privacy is now on the agenda more than ever before. You have the opportunity to restore some of what has been lost. But only if you take initiatives like privacy labels seriously, if you show some correlation between the apps you use and the data they collect. If you look at the relative privacy labels and chose Chrome over Safari, or Chrome over Edge, then you send a message that its data harvesting is fine by you.

As I’ve said before, what happens next is down to all of us—all of you.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Zak is a widely recognized expert on surveillance and cyber, as well as the security and privacy issues associated with big tech, social media and communication platforms, as well as IoT and smartphone security. He is frequently cited in the international media and is a regular commentator on broadcast news, with appearances on BBC, Sky, NPR, NBC, Channel 4, TF1, ITV and Fox, as well as various cybersecurity and surveillance documentaries.

Zak has twenty years experience in real-world cybersecurity and surveillance, most recently as the Founder/CEO of Digital Barriers, which develops advanced surveillance technologies for frontline security and defence agencies as well as commercial organizations in the US, Europe and Asia. The company is at the forefront of AI-based surveillance and works closely with flagship government agencies around the world on the appropriate and proportionate use of such technologies.

Zak can be reached at zakd@me.com.

Source: Why You Suddenly Need To Stop Using Google Chrome

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How Google’s ‘Hybrid’ Work Model Could Work For Your Business

According to CNBC, “Google is rethinking its long-term work options for employees, as most of them say they don’t want to come back to the office full-time.” According to a recent survey of Google employees, “sixty-two percent want to return to their offices at some point, but not every day”. For this reason, the company is working on “hybrid” models for future work. 

If you’re pondering the same in your organization, don’t be binary in your definition of hybrid.

It’s easy to assume a hybrid is a combination of only two things – a car engine with both internal combustion and electric power sources, plants and animals that are cross breeds of two different species, and golf clubs that combine the characteristics of both a wood and an iron.  But hybrids aren’t necessarily limited to combinations of two. According to Merriem-Webster, it can also mean: “having or produced by a combination of two or more distinct elements” and “of mixed character; composed of mixed parts”.

This is great news, because when it comes to hybrid work models, we’re going to need to think much more broadly than just two modes of work – in the office and at home. In fact, there’s a law from the systems sciences that applies.

Ashby’s Law and Hybrid Work Models Recommended For You

We love Ross Ashby’s Law of Requisite Variety, which states: “Only variety can destroy variety.”  We usually apply it to problem-solving, and specifically the need to seek out a variety of solvers to match the variety of the problem they’re trying to solve. In their new book Humanocracy,  Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini apply Ashby’s Law to organizations needing “a relentless pace of experimentation” to protect them “from a relentless pace of change”. 

And now, here’s another important implication of the very same law: Only a variety of work options can satisfy a variety of work preferences. That means leaders must work hard to offer a  variety of work models in order to attract and retain top talent.

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The Pandemic Has Changed Preferences and Habits

Why are there so many work preferences among workers? In short: our habits changed almost overnight. Prior to the pandemic, some companies already offered flexible work options – both work-from-home and work-in-the-office – and others were exploring the possibility. Then, starting in March, if people could work from home, they had to work from home. New habits were formed. Daily commuters got used to not commuting. Office-dwellers got used to staying home. Face-to-face believers (like us) adapted to face-to-screen. And across the board, as Airbnb Advisor Chip Conley put it in our interview with him, “IRL (in real life)” was replaced by “URL (digital)”.

As top management thinker Roger L. Martin explained it to us: “Covid-19 has forced us to break our habits, and where they were habits we hated, we won’t be going back. For example, we won’t go back to commuting to work five days per week.” David Musto, president and CEO of Ascensus, told us that leaders will need to think very differently about ”what coming back to the office looks like, now that people have acquired new habits and a new willingness to engage virtually.” 

BBC’s former head of Corporate Real Estate, Chris Kane, told us that it’s premature to declare the death of the office, explaining that:  “For employers and employees, we’ve been stuck in a very traditional bipolar debate between office and home, whereas there’s lots of choice and it’s not just about physical space. Work is moving from being process work performed in an office, to knowledge work, which can be done in a whole raft of settings.” 

This isn’t the end of the office, merely the end of the days when working at the office is the only option, at least in jobs that allow for it and companies that need to compete for talent.

A Two-Option Hybrid Model Isn’t Flexible Enough

As schools have reopened, some have offered a two-option hybrid education model – parents can choose to send their children to school, or they can choose to keep them at home. Others have offered a rigid two-mode hybrid education model, where students attend school during designated hours in a classroom, and in other designated hours, attend school remotely. While these models simplify things for education systems, the limited variety can’t match the variety of parental or student needs. What if I can’t be home all day to be with my kids and don’t feel safe sending them to school? What if my child can’t learn effectively unless they’re in a classroom under the supervision of a teacher, but they’ve got a pre-existing condition that makes them vulnerable to Covid-19? What if conditions change and we need to switch from one mode to the other? What if there aren’t enough teachers or my child’s teacher gets sick? 

Binary thinking when it comes to in-person vs. virtual creates high-consequence, high-anxiety, and sometimes impossible choices for people, as we’ve seen with schools. In the same way, a two-option model that isn’t flexible won’t work for people who are unable to make either option work, or for those who can easily go work for someone else.  

If a hybrid work model is limited to two elements, most people won’t be able to (or won’t want to) pick one or the other. Some people might be okay commuting, for example, but only in the summer when traffic is lighter. Strict policies around how and where people are allowed to work when they’re not in the office will turn people off, as most strict policies do, but especially now that people have experienced a prolonged period of flexibility. Heavily regimented “collaboration hours”, when everyone on a team is expected to be assembled together in one place, can’t reflect the natural ebbs and flows of teams and their projects. 

To limit choice is to defy the Law of Requisite Variety, and doing so will create a number of consequences – instability, dissatisfaction and resistance – that will ultimately drive some people away to better opportunities and push others out. And when it comes to the continuing struggle for diversity and parity in your organization, those with diverse needs are the most likely to be left out of your variety equation. 

Instead, Apply Ashby’s Law Over and Over Again

The answer lies in embracing the notion of requisite variety in three dimensions:

  • Offer the necessary and sufficient variety of work options to match the variety of work preferences so that you’re balancing the needs of the organization and the needs of its people. 
  • Find that balance by asking your people – a requisite variety of them who genuinely represent everyone in the organization – to participate in co-creating those options.
  • Be relentless about experimenting with those models and keeping people involved in re-evaluating them over time, so that you and they can keep up with the relentless pace of change.

If you’re approaching the development of hybrid work models any other way, you’re at risk of getting it wrong, and at the same time, missing an incredible opportunity to unlock significant latent passion and talent across your organization Follow me on Twitter. Check out my website or some of my other work here

David Benjamin and David Komlos

David Benjamin and David Komlos

We are the CEO and Chief Architect of Syntegrity and co-authors of Cracking Complexity: The Breakthrough Formula for Solving Just About Anything Fast. Global leaders and their teams apply the complexity formula to their top challenges, getting to decisions and action in days instead of months or years. From transformation to taking out cost, digitization to improving access to life-saving products, we have equipped leaders to dramatically accelerate solutions and execution on their defining challenges. We frequently speak on topics related to complexity, fast problem-solving and mobilization, and unleashing organizations’ latent talent to bring about controlled explosions of progress.

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the company is ”reconfiguring” its offices amid a more permanent shift to working from home. Pichai discussed the future of work at Google during an interview for Time 100 this week. While he doesn’t see working in the office going away altogether, he described the office as a space for ”on-sites” — presumably, days where employees, who mostly work from home, gather in the office.

Pichai also said he made the decision to have employees work from home until next summer in order to boost productivity and give workers a sense of certainty during an uncertain time. Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories. Google’s famous offices may look a bit different for employees once it’s safe for them to begin returning to work. Google CEO Sundar Pichai said this week that the company is making changes to its physical spaces to better support employees in the future — a future that Pichai says will include ”hybrid models” of work.”I see the future as definitely being more flexible,” Pichai said during a video interview for Time 100.

Pichai was an honoree on this year’s list of the most influential people in the world.”We firmly believe that in-person, being together, having that sense of community, is super important for whenever you have to solve hard problems, you have to create something new. So we don’t see that changing, so we don’t think the future is just 100% remote or something,” he said. Pichai said that Google is ”reconfiguring” its office spaces to accommodate what he called ”on-sites” — presumably, days where employees, who mostly work from home, gather in the office.

Katie Canales/Business InsiderGoogle was one of the first major tech companies to announce that employees may continue working from home until July 2021. At the time, The Wall Street Journal reported that the decision was made in part to help working parents whose children might be learning partially or totally remotely this school year. Pichai said there were several factors that went into the decision.”Early on as this started, I realized it was going to be a period of tremendous uncertainty, so we wanted to lean in and give certainty where we could,” Pichai said. ”The reason we made the decision to do work from home until mid of next year is we realized people were trying hard to plan … and it was affecting productivity.”

Pichai said making such a long-term decision forced the company to embrace their new reality: that working from home is here to stay, at least in some capacity. And employees seem to agree: a recent internal survey at the company found that 62% employees believe they only need to be in the office ”some days” in order to do their work well, while 20% don’t feel like they need to come to the office at all. Pichai also touched upon a larger issue for those who live in the San Francisco Bay Area: affordability. All data is taken from the source: http://businessinsider.com Article Link: https://www.businessinsider.com/googl…#Google#newsbloopers#newstodaybbc#usanewstoday#newstodayworld#newsworldabc #

Google Cloud BrandVoice: Building IT Security Requires Improving Teams

But when technology improves, enterprises aren’t the only ones to experience innovation increases. Hackers and other bad actors can be pretty innovative too. This is one reason it’s hard to go more than a few weeks without seeing some new data breach, malware risk, or cybercrime in the headlines.

Successful digital transformation boils down to leveraging technology to produce business outcomes, which is a simple idea. But deploying, connecting, protecting, and maintaining those technologies can be enormously complex, making it easy to accidentally expose security vulnerabilities or to react too slowly to a sudden advance in attackers’ capabilities.

As much as conversations about digital transformation can focus on finding the right kinds of programmers or the right kinds of data scientists, it’s equally important to emphasize that digital transformation requires the right kind of security professionals.

The right people can be hard to find

The need for security professionals is not new. In fact, security is one of the fastest growing job fields, and not just in IT. According to the 2019 (ISC)² Cybersecurity Workforce Study, going forward, there will be 10,000 cybersecurity professionals for every 100,000 U.S.-based establishments.

And yet, for all of this need, this CSIS survey showed that 82% of employers report a shortage of cybersecurity skills, with 314,000 additional cybersecurity professionals needed as of January 2019, despite the 716,000 such professionals already in the field.

Think about that: It’s as if every single person in Denver were already working in IT security, but because the job is so big, we need everyone in St. Louis to pitch in as well. That is a huge need and a huge shortage.

So what’s causing this shortfall? A large part of it is that the professionals in these roles are bogged down by manual work. Between patching servers, maintaining security infrastructure, updating security configurations, and collecting and analyzing data, there’s hardly any time left to design proactive cybersecurity.

Free your cybersecurity professionals with the cloud

As with so many issues in the modern workplace, improvements to this “people problem” lie in the cloud. Most notably, cloud providers maintain and secure the underlying infrastructure, relieving you of some of the more time-consuming manual tasks of infrastructure management.

The cloud provides security by default with systems that simplify IT resource configuration, deployment, and operation throughout the organization. This frees security professionals to concentrate on tasks that are a better use of their time and skills, like designing and modifying security policies, auditing access to critical systems, classifying business-critical content, and investigating anomalous activity through a business lens.

But the cloud offers more than just time. Many cloud providers offer tools and guidance to help users secure their apps and data by letting security teams determine which data is sensitive, who should have access to what, and how to translate the organization’s security and regulatory policy to controls. And since the cloud is exposed to users as software and APIs, automation becomes much simpler, resulting in more consistency at scale with fewer opportunities for human errors.

But the cloud offers more than just time. Many cloud providers offer tools and guidance to help users secure their apps and data by letting security teams determine which data is sensitive and who should have access to what. Moreover, since the cloud is exposed to users as software and APIs, automation becomes much simpler, resulting in more consistency at scale with fewer opportunities for human errors.

Overcoming the skills gap

In addition to the “people problem,” modern security workforces also find themselves facing a “skills problem.” Security threats are always evolving, as are the solutions and tools, which means that many established security professionals can’t keep up with the skills they need to detect and address new types of attacks. The longer it takes to find solutions, the more productivity may suffer across the organization.

On a deeper level, knowledge of the latest skills is essential to strong DevSecOps. The basic concept of DevSecOps is to build apps with security in mind from the start, rather than the traditional tactic of designing security in toward the end of development or bolting it on after systems and apps are built. Executing this requires a deep knowledge of security skills and tools that grows throughout the development process.

The cloud helps overcome these issues by providing access to the latest technological advancements and giving professionals access to the latest tools without the constant need to acquire and retrain.

Security professionals can also use the cloud to drive DevSecOps by embracing the best practices embedded into cloud-based tools. For example, Google Cloud offers vulnerability scanning, deploy-time controls, and configuration management—tools that underpin Google’s own best practices for develop-and-deploy processes. With tools like these, security experts can set up strong security practices from the start that persist throughout the project’s life cycle.

Building better security professionals

IT security is only going to become more essential as businesses rely more on technology for innovation and competitive advantage, and the need for professionals who are equipped for the challenge is going to grow as well.

Fortunately, with cloud-based security tools and a healthy amount of security by default, not only can security professionals continue to do their jobs effectively even as the landscape changes, but the next generation of experts will likely already be trained on cloud-based tools. That leaves the major people and skills problems in the IT landscape to those who haven’t taken advantage of the cloud.

Discover how the highest performers scale DevOps to maximize success. Get the latest “Accelerate State of DevOps Report.”

Rob Sadowski is the Trust & Security Product Lead for Google Cloud at Google. He is responsible for creating and delivering Google Cloud’s security message, spanning platforms, applications, and connected devices. Prior to joining Google, he held multiple senior roles in strategy and marketing at RSA Security, a Dell / EMC Company and came to RSA as part of the team that drove the creation of EMC’s Security division. He is a former member of the PCI Security Standards Council Board of Advisors and has been an expert commentator on security issues to global media outlets including CNN, USA Today, the Financial Times, NPR, Fox Business, and CNBC.

Source: Google Cloud BrandVoice: Building IT Security Requires Improving Teams

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Google Issues Serious Warning For Google Photos Users

Google Photos Logo

Google has issued a serious warning to a number of Google Photos users, stating that their private videos have been accidentally sent to strangers.

The warning will come as a shock to users who have used the service to store videos they don’t wish to be made public, precisely because of Google’s promise to protect their data and keep unshared Photos private.

According to the warning, sent directly via email to all affected users, the blunder caused Google’s ‘Download your data’ service to incorrectly export some stored videos to the wrong user’s archive when bundling them up for download.

This resulted in some users downloading archives with missing videos and, more worryingly, videos that belong to other users.

You can read the text of the email in the tweet from @jonoberheide below:

View image on Twitter

Google hasn’t revealed the number of accounts affected, but it appears to be relatively small as it’s restricted to those who used ‘Download your data’ within a specific five-day time period of November 21 to November 25 2019. However, even only a small proportion of Google Photos’ over one billion users will likely result in a significant total number of people affected. The wording of the email suggests that Google is confident that it has identified all occurrences of the bug and warned all those affected.

What to do about it

Google’s preferred solution to this predicament is for users to create new data archives and download them again. While this will help anyone with missing videos to retrieve them, it offers no comfort to those who now have no way of knowing which, if any, of their videos have been downloaded and viewed by strangers. Furthermore, we can only hope that there are no other instances of the bug which remain undetected.

I have reached out to Google for comment.

OnePlus Confirms Massive Camera Upgrades

Forbes Paul Monckton

I’ve been working as a technology journalist since the early nineties. My passion is photography and the ever-changing hardware and software that creates it, be it traditional cameras and Photoshop or smartphones and tablets with their numerous apps. I have also worked extensively on computing titles such as PC Magazine and Personal Computer World and managed the PCW hardware testing labs. This has seen me testing and reviewing all manner of technologies in print and on line. I take on both written and photographic assignments and you can get in touch with questions, tips or pitches via email. Find me on Instagram @paul_monckton.

Source: Google Issues Serious Warning For Google Photos Users

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Those default Google Chrome settings are no good! Here is what to change. More Top Lists ➤ https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list… Subscribe Here ➤ https://www.youtube.com/user/ThioJoe?… Google Chrome is the most popular web browser right now, but most people just leave the settings on default without even knowing about things they could or should change. Some of these settings are on by default that you should disable, and others are cool features that are not enabled by default, but you’ll want to turn on. This video goes over 11 of these settings, which include some found in the regular settings menu, as well as some in the hidden “chrome flags” menu, found at chrome://flags . Everything from a new way to mute noisy tabs, to faster downloading with chrome. ~~~ ⇨ http://Instagram.com/ThioJoehttp://Twitter.com/ThioJoehttp://Facebook.com/ThioJoeTV ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬▬

Could Google Be About To Break Bitcoin?

Google sent shockwaves around the internet last month when it was claimed the search giant had built a quantum computer able to solve formerly impossible mathematical calculations–with some fearing bitcoin could be at risk.

Details of Google’s so-called “quantum supremacy,” meaning it can solve calculations impossible with traditional computers, were posted to a Nasa website before being deleted, it was claimed by the Financial Times, a business newspaper.

Google’s quantum supremacy could mean it is able to perform in 200 seconds what would take a powerful computer 10,000 years and potentially mean bitcoin, and the encryption that underpins it, could be broken.

Bitcoin, cryptography, and encryption rely on complex mathematical problems and the fundamentals provide the basis of the internet and digital communication trust.

Today In: Money

A powerful enough computer, similar to Google’s quantum computer, could solve these classical equations quickly enough to crack not only bitcoin but also the encryption that the internet is built on.

An explosion in bitcoin investors and the bitcoin price over recent years have made many worried that their newfound crypto-based wealth could be under threat from these powerful quantum computers.

However, steps can be taken to prevent the likes of Google or any other quantum computer breaking into bitcoin and digital communication.

“Cryptocurrencies can be updated with quantum resistant tech,” said Charles Hayter, chief executive of bitcoin and cryptocurrency data website, CryptoCompare. “This is just a continuation of the age old arms race between crackers and enciphers.”

It would appear Google is still some way away from building a quantum computer that could be a threat to bitcoin or other encryption.

“Google’s supercomputer currently has 53 qubits,” said Dragos Ilie, a quantum computing and encryption researcher at Imperial College London.

Qubits, or quantum bits, are the basic unit of quantum information which use the properties of a quantum system, such as the polarization of a photon or the spin of an electron, where as traditional computers store and process data as a series of ‘1’s and ‘0’s.

“In order to have any effect on bitcoin or most or most other financial systems it would take at least about 1500 qubits and the system must allow for the entanglement of all of them,” Ilie said.

Google may not even be as far along as thought, with subsequent reports suggesting the original post was removed from Nasa’s website because it had not been confirmed.

Meanwhile, scaling quantum computers is “a huge challenge,” according to Ilie.

“As you add more qubits the system becomes more and more unstable … [though] researchers can try different approaches for solving these issues so maybe there are ways to mitigate these problems but right now we are quite far from breaking bitcoin.”

In short, “don’t dump your bitcoins yet,” Ilie added.

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I am a journalist with significant experience covering technology, finance, economics, and business around the world. As the founding editor of Verdict.co.uk I reported on how technology is changing business, political trends, and the latest culture and lifestyle. I have covered the rise of bitcoin and cryptocurrency since 2012 and have charted its emergence as a niche technology into the greatest threat to the established financial system the world has ever seen and the most important new technology since the internet itself. I have worked and written for CityAM, the Financial Times, and the New Statesman, amongst others. Follow me on Twitter @billybambrough or email me on billyATbillybambrough.com. Disclosure: I occasionally hold some small amount of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Source: Could Google Be About To Break Bitcoin?

Everyone should see it! Click here! http://youtube.com+watch=@3162039724/… Best cryptocurrency exchanger: https://700.by/101 Best cryptocurrency trading platform: https://700.by/102 The crypto community is reacting to a new report claiming Google has achieved a massive breakthrough in quantum computing. According to the Financial Times, a leaked document written by Google’s researchers says the company has achieved “quantum supremacy.”
In other words, Google has created a quantum computer that can perform a calculation that no other computer on earth has the power to process.“A paper by Google’s researchers seen by the FT, that was briefly posted earlier this week on a NASA website before being removed, claimed that their processor was able to perform a calculation in three minutes and 20 seconds that would take today’s most advanced classical computer, known as Summit, approximately 10,000 years.”
Quantum computers use the properties of atoms and molecules to create systems that can simultaneously explore multiple possible solutions to a problem. Many experts believe quantum tech could be used to crack the modern methods of cryptography that keep the internet secure. The threat to the world of cryptography is real enough that the National Security Agency (NSA) is now working to create new techniques that are resistant to quantum computing. News of Google’s apparent breakthrough made it to the front page of the cryptocurrency subreddit, where crypto proponents pondered the potential impact the advancement could have on blockchain technology.
The question is if and when quantum computing can crack the long strings of letters and numbers known as private keys, which Bitcoin users need to access their funds. So far, Google’s researchers say their quantum computer can “only perform a single, highly technical calculation,” indicating it will still take years until the technology can solve real-world problems.
But according to the document cited by the Financial Times, Google expects the tech to evolve at twice the speed of traditional computer processors. Steve Brierley, an adviser on quantum technologies to the UK government, says Google has taken a major leap forward.“It’s a significant milestone, and the first time that somebody has shown that quantum computers could outperform classical computers at all. It’s an amazing achievement.”So far, Google itself has refused to comment. #quantum #cryptocalculator #bitcoinblockexplorer #cryptocurrencynews #cryptocurrencyexchange #cryptonews #cryptoexchange Will Google’s ‘Quantum Supremacy’ Achievement Break Bitcoin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=haRLj…

How Google’s Work With Motorbike Riders In India Demonstrates Its Plan For Emerging Markets

India is the world’s largest market for motorbikes, with two-wheelers making up 70% of all vehicles registered by its 1.3 billion residents. It’s these motorbike drivers, more so than car owners, that Google needs to please as it competes for mindshare in this emerging market. So when user research showed that motorbikers in India didn’t find Maps useful, a team in Google’s Seattle office was tasked with figuring out how to change it.

A dive into the data revealed that motorbike drivers would only open the app for about 30 seconds and then close it. The team of product experts hypothesized that drivers needed more guidance on their route, so they spun up a prototype that would provide more in-ride prompts. But when they tested it with users in Jaipur, the largest city in the Indian state of Rajasthan, the prototype flopped.

The trials and errors to make Maps work better in India were a wake-up call, says Lauren Celenza, lead designer on Google’s two-wheeler project. As Google aims to reach more users in emerging markets like India, South East Asia, Africa and Latin America, the company needed to better integrate user research with product design.

“Opening up of the process beyond the walls of our offices is a playbook that we’re looking to for future projects,” Celenza says.

After actually spending time in India talking to people, the product team realized that the exact opposite of their initial assumption was true: Motorbike drivers didn’t want to look at or listen to their phones at all as they navigated the crowded and often chaotic roads. Instead, they wanted clearer guidance before starting out.

That initial design process highlights the too common tech industry hubris wherein companies launch tools for people far away without proper preparation or understanding of regional wants, needs or cultural differences. At its most anodyne, this approach leads to unpopular products. But it can also fuel real-world crises, like fake news and hate-speech going viral in Myanmar because Facebook didn’t have enough Burmese-speaking moderators.

The Google Maps team on the project ended up building a “two-wheeler mode” with customized routes for motorbikes that simplifies the maps and highlights landmarks to make it easier for drivers to understand and memorize the way before starting out. Since that product launched about a year and a half ago, its usage has grown from one million daily users to 5 million, and Google has launched the feature in more than a dozen new markets.

Two-wheeler mode falls under the domain of what Google calls its “Next Billion Users” initiative to reach users in emerging markets, either by launching new products or adapting old ones. For example, Google launched data-light and offline versions of Search, YouTube and Maps, and created an India-specific payments service called Tez.

At Google’s I/O developers conference last week, the company announced several other features geared at emerging markets. For example, it will start allowing people to pay for Android apps using cash and demoed an automatic text-to-speech service that will initially launch in Google’s Go app for entry-level devices.

“We need to do a lot more work to make sure our technologies and our services actually work really well for these users, including designing the right products for their unique needs,” Caesar Sengupta, vice president of Google’s Next Billion Users group, tells Forbes. “The amount of work we have left to do is still huge.”

In the past year, Google has faced a handful of controversies about how it cooperates with foreign governments. In August, the Intercept reported that the company was working on a version of its search engine in China that would comply with the country’s strict censorship laws. U.S. politicians, human rights activists and Google employees criticized the project, describing it as a tool for oppression and a slap in the face of Internet freedom. Google eventually told Congress in December that it has “no plans” to launch a search engine in China.

This spring, Google (and Apple) received widespread criticism for offering a Saudi Arabian smartphone app that allows husbands to track their wives. The country’s “male guardianship system,” which requires women to obtain male approval for certain actions, makes tracking legal, and Google said it would not remove the app.

Sengupta, who reportedly had a leadership role in the Dragonfly project, said that the company is “really engaged” in debates about the services it provides.

“The world is evolving fast,” he said. “We need to be constantly looking at what we’re doing and what are the right ways to be doing something.”

Contact this reporter at jdonfro [at] forbes.com. Have a more sensitive tip? Reach Jillian via encrypted messaging app Signal at 978.660.6302 using a non-work phone or contact Forbes anonymously via SecureDrop (instructions here: https://www.forbes.com/tips/#6ebc8a4f226a).

I’m a San Francisco-based staff writer for Forbes reporting on Google and the rest of the Alphabet universe, as well as artificial intelligence more broadly.

Source: How Google’s Work With Motorbike Riders In India Demonstrates Its Plan For Emerging Markets

Why Google’s Theme For Its Big Developers’ Conference Could Fall Flat

This week, thousands of visitors will swarm Google’s home city of Mountain View, California, for the company’s annual I/O developers’ conference. The event serves as a state of the union of sorts for Google, allowing it to parade out new products, share milestones for existing ones, and lay out its vision for the future as techies and press from all over the world tune in.

“This year, you’ll hear a lot about how we’re building a helpful Google for everyone,” the company wrote in a press teaser ahead of the show, which starts Tuesday (the bold emphasis is the company’s).

But while Google hopes to wow audiences with presentations on artificial intelligence and accessibility, that rosy messaging may fall flat in light of the company’s recent controversies.

In the past year, Google has faced an unprecedented level of criticism from experts and its own employees on issues like censorship, workplace misconduct, and AI ethics. One consistent theme of the various accusations has been how Google has not, in fact, been helpful for everyone. Google’s timeline since its 2018 conference is studded with complaints of exclusionary behavior.

Take, for example, last fall when The Intercept revealed that the company was secretly developing censored search products in China. Lawmakershuman rights activists, and Google employees alike denounced the plans, and in an open letter, workers admonished the company for building technology that would “aid the powerful in oppressing the vulnerable.” Google ultimately said it has tabled its plans.

Not long after, employees staged a massive walkout to protest what organizers described as a “workplace culture that’s not working for everyone” following a New York Times report on how Google shielded executives from misconduct claims. Demonstrators shared stories of inequity and harassment, including for Google’s “shadow workforce” of temporary and contract workers, who have less job security and fewer protections than their direct-employee peers. Google has updated a handful of policies and practices since the walkout, but its organizers have continued to push for other changes.

More recently, employees and outsiders called out Google for including Kay Coles James, the president of a conservative think tank, on a new advanced technology advisory council, citing her anti-LGBTQ views. Google eventually disbanded the so-called AI ethics board, saying in a statement that it had “become clear that in the current environment, [the council] can’t function as we wanted,” but didn’t address protestors’ arguments about underrepresented groups, like LGBTQ people, being especially at-risk for unintended consequences for AI.

For Google to hang its conference on the theme of being helpful for everyone without acknowledging its slew of exclusion-based issues may make the company’s intended theme seem hollow or ironic.

This wouldn’t be the first time Google has undermined its own messaging: Last year it sabotaged its recurring I/O mantra about developing “responsible AI” by launching a product that imitated humans but didn’t self-identify as a robot, which raised major ethical red flags.

Gartner research director Werner Goertz, who plans to attend the conference, doubts that any of the many product managers and executives who get up on the main stage will directly address Google’s litany of recent controversies. Viewers will hear details about a cheaper Pixel smartphone and the next edition of Android, but no atonement.

“Remember, I/O is a developers’ conference,” he says. “Google will focus on addressing the technical details, and I don’t think these other topics will really distract from that message.”

Perhaps they should.

Contact this reporter at jdonfro [at] forbes.com. Have a more sensitive tip? Reach Jillian via encrypted messaging app Signal at 978.660.6302 using a non-work phone or contact Forbes anonymously via SecureDrop (instructions here: https://www.forbes.com/tips/#6ebc8a4f226a).

I’m a San Francisco-based staff writer for Forbes reporting on Google and the rest of the Alphabet universe, as well as artificial intelligence more broadly.

Source: Why Google’s Theme For Its Big Developers’ Conference Could Fall Flat

Google Confirms It Will Automatically Delete Your Data — What You Need To Know

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Ahead of the annual Google I/O developer festival opening its doors on Tuesday, Google has already made one major announcement: it will soon start deleting your data automatically.

Writing in the official Google safety and security blog, David Monsees and Marlo McGriff, the product managers for Google search and maps respectively, say that the company is responding to user feedback asking to make managing data privacy and security simpler. “You can already use your Google Account to access simple on/off controls for Location History and Web & App Activity,” they say, “and if you choose, to delete all or part of that data manually.” What’s new is the soon to be rolled out “auto-delete controls” that will enable users to set time limits on how long Google can save your data.

Said to be arriving within weeks, the new controls will apply to location history as well as web and app activity data to start with. Users will be able to choose a time limit of between three and 18 months after which the data concerned will automatically delete on a rolling basis. You can already delete this data manually if you want, but the ability to have it deleted automatically is long overdue in my never humble opinion. Especially given reports last year that suggested Google was storing location data even when users had turned off location history and considering the somewhat arduous manual deletion process.

Not that everyone will want to delete this data of course. As with most things online these days it comes down to a choice between privacy and function. Actually, make that a balance between the two as it’s rare for anyone to be totally binary when it comes to such matters truth be told. Google says that this data “can make Google products more useful for you, like recommending a restaurant that you might enjoy, or helping you pick up where you left off on a previous search.” If you are of the don’t store any of my location data thank you very much persuasion, then disabling location history altogether would seem like a better option given that some mobile apps can track location data when they aren’t running. For everyone else, the new auto-deletion controls will be a welcome weapon in the “taking back control of at least some of your data” arsenal.

Keep checking the Data & Personalization section of your Google account settings, specifically the “Manage your activity controls” option I would imagine, to see if the function has rolled out for you in the coming weeks.

Please follow me on Twitter or connect with me on LinkedIn, you can find more of my stories at happygeek.com

I have been covering the information security beat for three decades and Contributing Editor at PC Pro Magazine since the first issue way back in 1994.

Source: Google Confirms It Will Automatically Delete Your Data — What You Need To Know

French regulator orders Google to take measures on advertising — peoples trust toronto

http://bit.ly/2RqgIqZ January 31, 2019 PARIS (Reuters) – France’s competition regulator has ordered Google to take measures regarding some of its advertising methods, saying these had hit French firm Amadeus which runs a directory service in France. “Google will need to quickly clarify the rules for its Google Ads online advertising platform that apply to electronic […]

via French regulator orders Google to take measures on advertising — peoples trust toronto

Top 18 Virtual Reality Apps That Are Changing How Kids Learn

Technology progress influences the way kids learn, and it’s constantly changing. Internet, smartphones, and apps have connected people globally without caring about the distance. Within seconds you can communicate with anybody anywhere. Virtual reality has taken it a step further. Now it’s possible to visit these faraway places or go back in time without moving an inch. Technology, like virtual reality apps, has brought the real world into the classroom and once again, changing how kids learn…….

Source: Top 18 Virtual Reality Apps That Are Changing How Kids Learn

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